Naturalizing Residential Greenspace

We invite Ottawa residents to join us on a walk exploring different approaches we can use to re-wild urban residential spaces using examples of residential yards in Riverside Park South.

We will begin this tour by visiting the back yard of a home which is in the process of converting the majority of its turf grass into a diverse habitat for pollinators and native wildlife. We will discuss how to get started, the things to do (and not do) in May. We will move to the front yard and discuss the how’s of gardening in the city right-of-way (the city-owned portion of front yards) so that you can maximize that space for native habitat while remaining compliant with the new bylaw rules.

We will then walk around the neighbourhood to showcase the many ways neighbours are changing their yards to be more eco-friendly and resilient to a warming climate. Along the way, we will identify some common invasive species that you may find in your own yard and we'll share how best to remove them. Questions will be welcome throughout the walk.


We'll meet at the corner of Rand Ave and Southmore Drive. From there, we'll be walking along Rand, Southmore, and Thorndale, with frequent detours from the public street to view residential gardens. We'll double back to end the walk at our starting place.

Note that there are no sidewalks along much of the route, so we will be walking on the roadside. Some of the gardens we will be looking at have paths that are not accessible for people with wheelchairs, scooters, and strollers.

There is street parking available along Southmore and Rand.

About the walk leader

Marianne Ariganello is an advocate for using native plants to support native pollinators and is lead organizer of Ottawa South Eco Action Network/ OSEAN. She led the push to reform the bylaw governing planting on the right-of-way.

Erin Madon is a high school teacher who teaches about climate change and leads students in converting school spaces into pollinator havens.

Ottawa South Eco Action Network/ OSEAN is a local not-for-profit that calls together activists to act locally while thinking globally.


Marianne Ariganello and Erin Madon

Date:Sun May 5, 2024
Time:3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hour 30 min
Language: English
Start:corner of Rand Ave & Southmore Dr
Area:Riverside Park South
Distance:2.0 kms

The route includes paths that are not accessible for wheelchairs, scooters, or strollers.

Betty is a Ring-billed gull who reminds us of the serious hazard plastic poses in the environment which animals mistakenly consume as if it were food. This garden includes a variety of native plants that serve as food and habitat for native animals and polinators.  This garden makes use of grasses, perennials, and vines that are all wonderful for pollinators. A mature garden that was well-planned and executed with meticulous attention to detail.
Volunteer to Marshal This Walk